It goes without saying the heroics of striker Dennis Oliech will take a very long time to replicate. He carried the hopes of a nation and never disappointed. He scored crucial goals for the national team Harambee Stars and easily made mince meat of world class defenders earning the moniker Dennis ‘the menace’. The prolific striker burst into the limelight when he made his international debut in the 2002 edition of CECAFA cup held in Tanzania. At only 17 years, Oliech was the revelation of the tournament and the Tanzania media went on to dub the goal scoring machine ‘turbo charger’. . He scored five goals and Kenya went on to lift the cup.
It was only obvious Oliech would attract suitors after his stellar performance at the CECAFA tournament. The youthful striker who had plied his trade in Dagoretti Santos, Mathare United before briefly joining Tusker FC was now on the radar of the big boys. Al Arabi came calling in 2003 and Dennis the menace joined the club.
His form at the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers attracted the attention of the top flight clubs. He was the top scorer with five goals at the group stages ensuring Kenya qualified for the AFCON. His most decisive goal was in the last 1-0 game against Mauritania that led Kenya to qualify. Although Kenya was bundled out of the tournament, Oliech impressed FC Nantes scouts and the most accomplished goal poacher of our time signed a four year contract with the French Ligue 1 outfit at $3.7 million (kes281.2 million at the time) in 2005. His stint at FC Nantes was not so memorable as the club was relegated in 2007.
He made his way to Auxerre from Nantes on loan. He was signed on permanent basis until 2011. His time at Auxerre is what you would describe as a mixed bag of fortunes. His first and second seasons (2007-2008 and 2009-2010) were below par with the player form dipping. He scored 7 goals in 61 games. The 2010-11 season was a pretty good one for Oliech as the manager gave him more playing time. He also featured in the Champions League group matches, they finished last. Auxerre went on to be relegated to Ligue 2. Oliech was that season top scorer.
He joined Ligue 1 side Ajaccio after his 6 year stint from relegated Auxerre on a two and half year contract.
Reports of Oliech Being broke
Reports that Dennis Oliech was dead broke and had been thrown out of his apartment was fodder for bloggers and social media users. The mainstream media was not left behind as they ran stories to suggest Oliech was facing financial difficulties. This was not helped by photos of a haggard and disheveled looking Oliech shared on social media platforms. He was criticized for being reckless with his money and some even seemed to relish his misfortune. It was saddening for a player of Oliech caliber who had brought joy and pride for football loving Kenyans to be turned to a laughing stock. A man who used his own money to cater for expenses of his fellow Harambee Stars players when they were in a fix. He denied these reports and said he was heading to Europe to sign a deal with a club he did not mention. Months later, reports emerged that Dennis was set to join Free State Stars FC in South Africa.
Oliech Salary at Free State Stars FC
Although Oliech pay won’t be anything near what he was paid in Europe, it will be a good retirement package for arguably Kenya’s all time best forward. Free State Stars tactician Luc Eymael confirmed that Oliech will be joining the club on a one year contract. The former FC Leopards coach told Goal.com :
“The meeting between Oliech and club management has just ended and they have agreed that he (Oliech) reports for pre-season to do some friendlies, finalise the deal and do medical before signing a contract.
“Pre-season will start on June 18 and Oliech will be expected here to start training with us. Everything is not yet finalised but it now looks positive and if he signs in June, it will be a one year contract.”
South African League PSL is the second highest league in Africa, according a research conducted by Daily Mail. The average pay per year for players is R580,000 (kes4,376,276 at current rate). On average Oliech will at the least pocket R11,000 per week which translates to kes82,998.35 (kes331,993.4 per month).